Motor and Vocal Tics- Logistics

For someone with tics, it may be difficult to look “like everyone else”, but still be different. Moreover, many people who do not know what tics really are, does not make it any easier.

Why does he grimace all the time, make weird shrugs and now he “clocks” with his mouth – he has to be “crap”, right? We are all so equal when it comes to our needs for closeness, love, understanding and care. But then we also have many differences, both in appearance, mood and other things. In the book “Toler my TICS, thank you” by Lisbeth Iglum Rönhovde, you describe Tourette’s syndrome as a diagnosis you get when you have tics in the form of different types of movements and at least one sound.

Motor and vocal tics

The movements are called motor tics and sound vocal tics. Some tics can be invisible and are called internal tics. Tics come and go and sometimes it overflows with movements or sounds without being able to stop them. When everything is working properly in the brain, the signals flow in a steady stream from cell to cell. The problem for someone with TS is that it sometimes overflows. In the brain there are cells that control movements you can do without thinking about them, such as blinking, jumping and swallowing. If these cells send too many signals, the tics become intense. Pelle Sandstrak, who has Tourette’s syndrome, believes that one can describe different person types as different countries. 

  • Hot springs and volcanoes.
  • Never full control.
  • Never quite calm.
  • Constant movements.
  • Constant outbreaks.

The tics often become strongest when it is completely quiet in the room, when you have to wait or when you feel insecure. It is affected by whether you feel tense, stressed, happy, scared or tired. The tics often decrease when you feel safe, have the right action and know what is expected of you.

Difficult with other people’s eyes

Many young people think that the hardest thing about tics is that others can see and hear it. Being “different” as a young person can feel tough. More importantly, adults know what TS/tics is for something and can be there and support. Tics, after all, are nothing strange but a natural consequence of brain signals.

Many with TS can also have additional problems such as writing motor difficulties, difficulty with numbers/math, problems with food, difficulty sleeping, severe rage outbreaks, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder and the feeling of being depressed.

If you have tics, talk to your parents, your teacher, the school nurse or any other person you feel confident in and tell them exactly how you experience your tics. Seek information to learn more about tics and TS at the National Association for Attention.

Failing to tics can be like not blinking – try it yourself! To resist the tics makes it easier if you become aware of your tics so that you know what you have to work with. You rarely get tics when you are doing some controlled motor activity. To resist tics, you can use a motion, sound or breathing technique that makes it impossible to tics at the same time. The book “Nix your tics” teaches how to work on reducing their tics. Read more about this at

Different tics

There are several different types of tics and it varies from person to person how many tics you have and how often they appear.

Eleven examples of tics:

  • Blink slowly, very fast or very much.
  • Pull the mongoose or wrinkle on the nose.
  • Gape as if yawning.
  • Break in the joints or move in different muscle groups.
  • Throw or jerk the arm/leg.
  • “Heaven” with eyes.
  • Swing, gargle, cough, sniff, whistle, grunt or hum.
  • Make rap sounds or hum deep down in the throat.
  • Say the same word or phrase over and over again.
  • Laugh aloud even if there is nothing to laugh at.
  • Sound like an echo – repeat what others say.

Playing tics

Often you dramatize something when you are open and talk about how it is. Say as it is – “I have tics”. Knowledge is the first step to change and it breaks down prejudice. Knowledge can remove bullshit, bullying, harassment, brawling and misunderstanding. When you know that people accept your tics, you relax more easily and the tics decrease!

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